Divya Bansal has been with this practice since completing her training in 2013. She is Dr. Gillian’s PA or Physician Assistant. As such she is involved in every clinical aspect of patient care. She evaluates and manages patients before and after surgery under Dr. Gillian’s supervision and she assists him with the surgical procedures. She performs minor procedures independently and manages patients at the hospital after surgery along with Dr. Gillian. If you have questions about your pending surgery or your recovery you are going to find her to be a great resource. In addition to her clinical skills she also supervises our research studies including our multi-center 5 year post FDA approval LINX study.
What is a Physician Assistant?
A physician assistant (PA) is a medical professional who works as part of a team with a doctor. A PA is a graduate of an accredited PA educational program who is nationally certified and state-licensed to practice medicine with the supervision of a physician. PAs perform physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret lab tests, perform procedures, assist in surgery, provide patient education and counseling and make rounds in hospitals and nursing homes. All 50 states and the District of Columbia allow PAs to practice and prescribe medications.
What does Dr. Gillian’s PA do?
Since this is a surgical practice Dr. Gillian’s Physician Assistant is focused on the evaluation and care of surgical patients. This involves the preoperative history, physical examination and review of outside testing. Both Dr. Gillian and his PA evaluate all new patients in this practice and decisions to proceed to surgery are based on input from all sources. Because this is a unique surgical practice the PA received additional training by Dr. Gillian so that she can assist in complex operations at the hospital and care for patients in the hospital after surgery. This provides a continuum of care so that when a postoperative office visit occurs Dr. Gillian and his PA are both aware of the surgical issues and can both provide appropriate evaluation and advice. The Physician Assistant will be able to manage most patients in the postoperative period without Dr. Gillian’s presence but he or a qualified surgeon designated by him is always available for consultation when needed. Small office based procedures can typically be performed by the PA under Dr. Gillian’s direction
How are PAs educated and trained?
The PA educational program is modeled on the medical school curriculum, a combination of classroom and clinical instruction. The PA course of study is rigorous and intense. The average length of a PA education program is 27 months.
Admission to PA school is highly competitive. Applicants to PA programs must complete at least two years of college courses in basic science and behavioral science as prerequisites to PA school, analogous to premedical studies required of medical students. The majority of PA programs have the following prerequisites: chemistry, physiology, anatomy, microbiology and biology. Additionally, most PA programs require or prefer that applicants have prior healthcare experience.
PA education includes instruction in core sciences: anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, physical diagnosis, pathophysiology, microbiology, clinical laboratory science, behavioral science and medical ethics.
PAs also complete more than 2,000 hours of clinical rotations, with an emphasis on primary care in ambulatory clinics, physician offices and acute or long-term care facilities. Rotations include family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, general surgery, emergency medicine and psychiatry.
Practicing PAs participate in lifelong learning. In order to maintain national certification, a PA must complete 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years.
There are currently 181 accredited PA programs in the United States. The vast majority award master’s degrees. PA education programs are represented by the Physician Assistant Education Association and accredited through the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA)